I’ve just shambled into my hotel room from the after-party (which was still going strong when I left) of the 2014 European YoYo Championship, and I wanted to give our readers a brain-dump while everything is still fresh in my mind.
Before I get into the event though, I would love feedback on our coverage! Drop us a line in the comments section and let us know what you thought! This was our most ambitious piece of contest coverage yet, and certainly our most exhaustive. Having an HD live stream of the event to focus around we posted schedules and player orders, and I did play-by-play commentary on the live stream. We filmed, edited and uploaded player interviews before the 1A division happened, and had results up as fast as humanly possible. I took approximately 5,000 photos, and will be uploading the best of them in the next week.
We’re planning big things for our contest coverage of major events this year, and every event will be better than the last!
So, to the meat of things.
This was my first time at EYYC, and first time in Hungary. Hard to believe I’ve been in the scene for nearly 20 years and have only finally made it here, but it’s true. I caught up with friends I hadn’t seen in a decade, met people I only knew from video and contest photos and rumors and legends, and had an amazing time. I had built EYYC up in my head to be this massive juggernaut, run by magical creatures with a monstrous budget and I was excited to see upon arrival that the European scene and resources are really not much different from ours in the US….they’re just a lot better at managing them towards a greater end goal. We can learn a lot from the way a contest like EYYC is managed, and I’m filled to the brim with ideas for the National YoYo League, and the events that I’ll be running this year in the US.
It’s disappointing to see that the European yoyo scene is plagued by the same problems as the US…rival factions that can’t seem to work together, cliques of players who exclude more than they include, dwindling entrants into 2A, 3A, and 4A divisions, and incredibly limited resources. But the good news is that these are problems that can be solved…and same as in the US, there are people here who are working hard to make things better. As with all yoyo contests, I left feeling more connected to many other players; but I’m leaving Budapest with something more – the secure knowledge that there is a worldwide network of people who are constantly putting everything on the line to make yoyoing succeed, and there are significantly more of them than I thought.
I’m leaving Budapest with a renewed vigor to keep making YoYoNews a better and better resource for the worldwide player community and yoyo industry. I’m leaving Budapest knowing that while I’ve spent a good many years frustrated at the lack of growth in the contest industry, there are solutions and contests are still getting better. EYYC has a greater production value than any event I’ve attended in the past 20 years in the United States, including the World YoYo Contest. But instead of despairing, I think we should be inspired to step up our game. The US has long held the largest yoyo community in the world, and yet our contest quality has been vastly overshadowed by Asia and Europe. It’s time to get things going here in a big way, and I’ll be working closely with the National YoYo League this year to do whatever I can to raise the production value of all US Regional events.
I encourage everyone to GET INVOLVED in contests near them, and find out how you can help! Organizers need all hands on deck, and only by really pulling together can we get ourselves to the level of our peers in Europe and Asia.
A HUGE thanks to all of the organizers, volunteers, and staff who made EYYC possible this and every year. Much love to all the players who showed up and brought their talent to the stage. And a massive THANK YOU to everyone working to teach new players and grow the European yoyo scene without drawing lines in the sand and try to exclude anyone based on sponsor or affiliation.
We’re all in this together, and nowhere is that more evident than EYYC. The camaraderie is just stunning, and I’ve never felt so supported and welcomed at an event in my life. Much love and high fives to everyone who shook my hand, snapped a picture with me, handed me something to sign, asked if I needed a coffee, or told me that I helped them love yoyoing in some way. I can never repay the kindness that I’ve been shown, but I’m going to try and pay it forward by continuing to do everything I can to support and unite the yoyo scene worldwide.
So long, Budapest, and thanks for all the goulash.